Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hey!  What about that consensus?

We were told that the consensus is always right.  Now the same people are saying it's wrong.  Typical Green/Left lack of consistency of course.

But it's just a friendly football match among propagandists anyway:  Totally isolated from reality.  Recent bad weather CANNOT be a result of global warming.  Why?  Because there has been none for around 15 years.  Things that don't exist cannot cause anything

In a break with the mainstream scientific consensus, a few prominent climate scientists now argue that there have been enough episodes of drought and intense heat in the last 10 years to establish a statistical pattern of extreme weather due to global warming.

One of those scientists is NASA climatologist James Hansen. In a study published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he noted that dramatic events like droughts and heat waves affected just 1% of Earth's surface between 1950 and 1980; in the last 30 years, that figure has jumped to 10%.

"We can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies ... were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small," he and his colleagues wrote.

Hansen isn't the only one who suspects that the signature of climate change can be seen in recent weather trends.

Around the world, "the incidence of drought is consistent with what the climate models are predicting," said John Seinfeld, an atmospheric researcher at Caltech. "It certainly doesn't appear to be out of line to conclude that this last summer could be statistically attributed to global warming."

In the U.S., the summer ranked as the third-hottest in the nation's history.

Among laypeople, the perception that extreme weather is getting worse — and that it's linked to climate change — is increasingly taking hold.

Nearly 75% of Americans now say global warming is affecting the weather in the U.S., according to a poll released this week by scientists at Yale University. The poll found that about 60% of Americans reported experiencing an extreme heat wave or drought this year, while an equal percentage said weather had worsened over the last several years. A companion poll reported earlier this year that 8 in 10 Americans had personally experienced at least one extreme weather event in the last year, and more than one-third said they had suffered as a result.

Jerry Lubell narrowly missed being one of them this summer, as a 100-foot wall of flames approached his Colorado Springs, Colo., home. The fire spared his house but left him shaken.

"It has me thinking," said the retired nuclear engineer, a longtime skeptic of the idea that human activity is behind global warming. "I haven't changed any fundamental opinions yet, but I might."

Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the planet is getting hotter and that mankind's use of fossil fuels is largely responsible.

When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is produced and traps heat within the atmosphere. The more that's added, the hotter it gets. It's not the only greenhouse gas, but it's the one many scientists focus on because it stays in the atmosphere for hundreds or thousands of years.

The average global temperature has risen by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century, [Wow!  That's a huge rate of change!] a period that gave rise to mass-produced automobiles and commercial aviation, among other developments. Altogether, modernization has led to an 800% increase in global fossil fuel consumption since 1900, with a corresponding jump in emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

As the temperature rises, evaporation increases and draws more water from soil. Experts predict that moist areas of the planet will become wetter, while dry areas will become drier.

Still, most climatologists say science can draw no clear link between climate change and specific weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts or heat waves.

"We're living in a warmer world," said William Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. "But to say that the hurricanes are more intense, that the tornadoes are more frequent, that the droughts are longer, that the floods are more serious, the forest fires are larger and more frequent — I'm not there."

"Sometimes it's hotter, sometimes it's colder, sometimes it's drier, sometimes it's wetter," added Tapio Schneider, an environmental engineering professor at Caltech. "Not all of that is climate change."

Asking whether the summer's record heat was evidence of global warming is like asking whether steroids helped a baseball player hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning during the World Series, said Anthony Leiserowitz, an environmental scientist with the Yale Project on Climate Change. If the player was able to hit home runs before he took steroids, it would be impossible to know whether any particular home run could be traced directly to performance-enhancing drugs. However, at the end of the season, it would be clear that the player hit home runs with greater frequency.

"That's what we have here," Leiserowitz said. "We've juiced the world's climate system by putting these gases in the atmosphere."


Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

The article below is from the mass-circulation "Daily Mail" in Britain.  The writer is one of their general journalists
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week. The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued  quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.  This stands in sharp contrast  to the release of the previous  figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

Some climate scientists, such as Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions.

Others disagreed. Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.

Even Prof Jones admitted that he and his colleagues did not understand the impact of ‘natural variability’ – factors such as long-term ocean temperature cycles and changes in the output of the sun. However, he said he was still convinced that the current decade would end up significantly warmer than the previous two.

The regular data collected on global temperature is called Hadcrut 4, as it is jointly issued by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and Prof Jones’s Climatic Research Unit.

Since 1880, when worldwide industrialisation began to gather pace and reliable statistics were first collected on a global scale, the world has warmed by 0.75 degrees Celsius.

Some scientists have claimed that this rate of warming is set to increase hugely without drastic cuts to carbon-dioxide emissions, predicting a catastrophic increase of up to a further five degrees  Celsius by the end of the century.

The new figures were released as the Government made clear that it would ‘bend’ its own  carbon-dioxide rules and build new power stations to try to combat the threat of blackouts.

At last week’s Conservative Party Conference, the new Energy Minister, John Hayes, promised that ‘the high-flown theories of bourgeois Left-wing academics will not override the interests of ordinary people who need fuel for heat, light and transport – energy policies, you might say, for the many, not the few’ – a pledge that has triggered fury from green activists, who fear reductions in the huge subsidies given to wind-turbine firms.

Flawed science costs us dearly

Here are three not-so trivial questions you probably won’t find in your next pub quiz. First, how much warmer has the world become since a) 1880 and  b) the beginning of 1997? And what has this got to do with your ever-increasing energy bill?

You may find the answers to the first two surprising. Since 1880, when reliable temperature records began to be kept across most of the globe, the world has warmed by about 0.75 degrees Celsius.

From the start of 1997 until August 2012, however, figures released last week show the answer is zero: the trend, derived from the aggregate data collected from more than 3,000 worldwide measuring points, has been flat.

Not that there has been any  coverage in the media, which usually reports climate issues assiduously, since the figures were quietly released online with no accompanying press release – unlike six months ago when they showed a slight warming trend.

The answer to the third question is perhaps the most familiar. Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of ‘green’ subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.

And with the country committed by Act of Parliament to reducing CO2 by 80 per cent by 2050, a project that will cost hundreds of billions, the news that the world has got no warmer for the past 16 years comes as something of a shock.

It poses a fundamental challenge to the assumptions underlying every aspect of energy and climate change policy.


'Devastating' power bill rises to hit 10m homes: British Gas to raise prices by £100 from next month

British Gas will provoke fury today by announcing an inflation-busting rise in energy bills – even though the price of power has fallen over the past year.

A dramatic increase of up to 9 per cent is expected, which would add more than £100 to the average family’s heating and power bill from next month.

The rise will affect ten million households – more than 40 per cent of the country – and plunge more people into fuel poverty just as the winter months set in.

Millions of families are already struggling to pay their energy bills amid the biggest squeeze on household incomes for more than 60 years.

The price rise will lead to renewed claims that energy giants are profiteering. An average dual-fuel bill for British Gas customers is already £1,260 and it could rise to £1,375, consumer groups warned last night. The firm’s parent company Centrica posted profits of £1.7billion in the first half of this year.

But even though the price of buying electricity on the open market is 6 per cent lower than it was 12 months ago, the big six energy firms are all expected to hike their prices before Christmas.

Caroline Flint, Labour’s energy spokesman, said people would not understand why bills had to rise when British Gas was making so much money.  ‘Hard-pressed families and businesses need much more transparency on costs, pricing and profits to know whether they’re getting a fair deal,’ she said.

‘Unless ministers get to grips with spiralling energy bills, people will rightly think that this Government is completely out of touch with families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet.’

Michelle Mitchell, of the charity Age UK, said: ‘Reports of price hikes as we head into winter will be leaving many older people feeling extremely anxious about their heating bills. Cold homes pose a serious risk to the health of older people, yet a huge number of older people cannot afford to heat them properly.’

Energy bills have doubled in the past decade and last year each of the big six hiked prices. British Gas pushed them up by 18 per cent for gas and 16 per cent for electricity.

Energy firms are expected to blame rising costs on meeting environmental regulations laid down by the Government and the EU.


Green energy out of gas?

While the discussion is still alive to cut Big Bird’s taxpayer subsidy as a first step to tackling America’s budget woes, it’s a mere drop in the bucket compared to another industry taxpayers do not need to be assisting.

Green energy.  The Daily Caller reports on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimate that $24 billion was spent in 2011 to subsidize fuels and energy technologies, “with $20.5 billion in tax preferences and $3.5 billion in Department of Energy spending programs.”

Furthermore, “78 percent of all tax subsidies and 54 percent of DOE subsidies went to alternative energy projects,” The Daily Caller states.

Where has this spending got us? A CNN Fact Check report asks the question, “Are half of ‘green’ energy firms helped by stimulus out of business?”

In the 2009 stimulus package, $90 billion was authorized for “green” energy.  CNN states, “Part of 2009′s much larger $787 billion stimulus package, this money went toward things like the weatherization of more than 770,000 homes and cleaning 688 square miles of land formerly used for Cold War-era nuclear testing. Many individual companies did benefit directly. The government website that tracks stimulus spending lists 27,226 individual awards under the “Energy/Environment” section, totaling just shy of $34 billion.”

Accounting for all green infrastructures, like high speed rail, the Brookings Institute claims the total spent thus far on “green” energy and projects is $51 billion.

However, what stands out most about this spending is the $535 million loan given to California-based solar panel company Solyndra that went bankrupt—taking all that money down with it.  Another company, Ener1, also went belly-up after receiving $118 million from taxpayers.  Evergreen Solar Inc. also went bust after reportedly receiving $5.3 million of stimulus cash.

But what matters most to Americans are the jobs that came out of all this spending. HotAir summarizes a Reuters article on the results:

The Obama administration has been reduced now to arguing that its $90 billion expenditure will result in 827,000 “job years” over the course of Obama’s term in office.  For those who are counting, that would be 276,000 jobs lasting three years.  Even in “job years,” that comes to $108,827 per job-year; in jobs, it comes to $326,481.  And the “job-years” construct carries a heavy subtext of a lack of permanence, too.”

Since the green energy trend is falling apart elsewhere in the world, now would be a good time for Gov. Mitt Romney to spread his wings farther than just Big Bird and end taxpayer money going to failing and expensive green energy policies.

While Big Bird makes for a cute political ad for President Obama, the giant yellow bird should be the least of his worries.  Americans are likely more concerned about the $90 billion of their money he’s wasted.


Obama’s ‘green’ trade war

A partial revival of the Smoot-Hawley folly

Not content with Ben Bernanke’s currency war — which attempts to cheapen prices for U.S. exports overseas by devaluing the dollar — the Obama Administration has decided to go for the real thing, slapping new tariffs on Chinese solar imports.

As reported by Reuters, the U.S. Commerce Department accused China of “‘dumping’ solar cells and panels in the United States at prices 18.32 percent to 249.96 percent below fair value” and is setting “additional countervailing duties ranging from 14.78 to 15.97 percent to combat Chinese government subsidies, significantly higher than preliminary levels.”

The U.S. has already slapped duties on Chinese-made wind turbine towers, too, reflecting White House unease with the costs of making “green” energy here in the U.S. — Chinese companies are producing the same solar panels and wind turbines for pennies on the dollar compared to their U.S. counterparts.

But the new policy still will not create “green” jobs in the U.S.

Manufacturing in emerging economies in recent decades has simply been more cost-effective, and with jobs shifting overseas. In 1979, 19.5 million Americans worked in manufacturing. Today, it’s just 11 million.

That trend will only be addressed by addressing the high cost of doing business in the U.S. — through lower taxation and a strong dollar — not by sparking a trade war.

All the Administration is accomplishing is to force American companies and consumers to pay extra for foreign solar and wind technologies, and in turn to pay more for overpriced U.S.-made goods. All parties will be hurt in the process.

Meanwhile, Obama’s apparent strategy for converting the U.S. to a “green” economy is to make alternative solar and wind energy more expensive. On its own, the move might actually have made conventional options for electricity such as coal more attractive.

But Obama is trying to drive up prices there too.

According to Department of Energy’s estimates, by 2017 the cost of coal per megawatt hour will triple from about $35 to anywhere from $97 to $139. This comes on the heels of Obama policies to require existing and new coal-burning power plants to use pricey “green” technologies that will cost consumers billions of dollars extra every year.

So, the only way the Department of Energy’s 2017 projection can show alternatives like wind and solar to be viable is to triple the cost of coal. No word yet from the Department on how Obama’s “green” trade war with China will impact wind and solar prices.

Meanwhile, although Federal Reserve quantitative easing programs have seemingly boosted U.S. exports, this has been more than offset by higher oil prices paid to energy exporters. The trade deficit has actually increased as Americans pay more at the pump.

If we’re in a trade war, we’re apparently losing.

In the Great Depression, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was enacted to make imported goods imported more expensive. The thought was to incentivize the purchase of U.S.-made goods during a devastating economic downturn.

It only made things worse. U.S. exports took a big hit immediately as the world retaliated, dropping from $3.84 billion in 1930 to $2.08 billion in 1931, and bottoming out in 1932 and 1933 at $1.61 billion and $1.67 billion.

Now Obama is attempting to do the same thing again. For someone who has repeatedly reminded us that we are in the worst economy since the Great Depression, it seems Obama and his Administration have not learned a thing from the Depression’s history.


Another one down

A Danish wind turbine company whose subsidiaries received over $50 million in U.S. stimulus dollars announced on Friday it has cut more than 800 jobs in the United States and Canada this year and may be forced to lay off another 800 employees in North America.

This is yet another green energy company that received wasteful stimulus funds and does not even have anything to show for it.

According to Reuters, Vestas, the wind turbine maker, saw its order intake go down by 24 percent during the first half of the year.

"The U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the Federal Production Tax Credit extension," said Martha Wyrsch, head of Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc.

Vestas said without more tax credits and stimulus funds, the company will have trouble competing.

Vestas executives, according to Reuters, told investors that "it would stop non-profitable projects," especially in Europe and America, where demand for its products have plummeted.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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